Non-Toxic Cat Litter

Non-toxic cat litter is a wise option for the health-conscious cat owner, and the owner concerned about the environment. Kitty litter with toxic chemical additives increases the chance of respiratory problems developing in both the cat who uses the litter and the humans who may inhale some of the kicked-up dust. Litter without toxins can be just as, or even more effective than, toxic litter.

What to Avoid

Common toxic cat litter ingredients include crystalline silica and sodium bentonite. These ingredients often appear in cheap litter, but they also appear in renowned and well-known brands. Check the ingredients before you buy. Crystalline silica, an ingredient in rocks and minerals, and sodium bentonite, a clumping agent, most often appear in clay-based litters. Some relatively non-toxic clay litters do exist.

Negative Effects of Toxic Cat Litter

  • Crystialline silica and sodium bentonite have been recognized as a source of respiratory and allergy problems in both cats and cat owners. When a cat uses the litter box, she kicks up dust, which is impossible for her and humans around the litter box not to inhale. Over time, it is possible that this litter dust can affect a cat's or human's lungs.
  • Cats may ingest some of the litter while bathing, and the water-absorbing sodium bentonite can build up within her digestive system, causing blockage. Toxic cat litter also poses dangers to the household dog, who is often attracted to a cat's waste and may also ingest this intestinal-blocking substance.
  • Sodium bentonite is not a biodegradable product. After flushing or throwing away a clump of clay-based litter, that clump will take up space in a landfill for decades to come. In addition, mining sodium bentonite exclusively for cat litter has caused problems in the topsoil in large areas of Wyoming and Montana, making it impossible for plant life to grow.

Natural Kitty Litter

There are a number of natural kitty litter alternatives on the market for cat owners. This includes litter made from corn, wheat, cedar or pine chips, and paper. Unlike most clay, sand and crystal alternatives, natural kitty litter is dust-free, making it an excellent alternative for households with asthma-prone cats and humans.

Benefits of Natural Kitty Litter

  • Natural kitty litter is available in both clumping and non-clumping varieties, and it's often as good for absorbing odor as the clay or sand varieties. Some non-toxic cat litter brands are flushable and many, such as corn or wheat litter, are perfectly safe for the cat if ingested while grooming.
  • Natural kitty litter like corn or wheat litter is also biodegradable, greatly reducing the cat owner's contribution to the landfill. It's most often made from recycled materials or materials salvaged from the excess in other production, further contributing to a less wasteful product.
  • Non-toxic cat litter is the best option for the health-conscious cat owner. There are a number of natural kitty litter options that cat owners can try, until they find one with which their cat is comfortable using.